Russia defense minister says Navy will add 12 new submarines this year

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said the country's Navy will add 12 new submarines by the end of this year.

Shoigu met Russian Navy commanders during his visit to the nation's Far East on Friday.

He said the new vessels would include a type of nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying strategic nuclear weapons.

Japan's defense white paper released in July says Russia currently possess 72 submarines, including nuclear-powered ones.

Also on Friday, Shoigu visited the Zvezda defense plant in the suburbs of Vladivostok. He inspected work to repair nuclear submarines from the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who is visiting Russia's Far East, will likely visit the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet as early as Saturday. Shoigu may accompany Kim and discuss military cooperation between their countries.